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MPC Bobby Isaac 1972 Ford Torino

Bobby Isaac 1972 Ford Torino
MPC No. MPC839/12
Model Type: Injection-molded styrene
Molded Colors: White, black, clear
Scale: 1/25
MSRP: $30.49
Pros: Decent model of an early-1970s Grand National car
Cons: Fit issues; generic parts; stance too high
Driving for Bud Moore in 1972, Bobby Isaac helped establish the small-block V-8 as the big-blocks were being legislated out of existence.

This MPC kit has been around since these stock cars were racing, and it’s not the kind of kit where anyone is going to sing the praises of the engineering of its 137 parts.

In fact, you better lay in a supply of strip styrene and body putty.

Most of the parts are molded in black plastic, except the body, hood, and some model-specific engine and roll-cage parts, which are molded in white.

In addition to the clear windshield and backlight, there are chrome-plated bumpers and valve covers. The Goodyear Racing Special tires that appeared in the original kits are still there.

Fit issues with some body parts and a pair of cylinder heads that appear to be repurposed from another kit mean there will be cutting, trimming, filling and filing to get a presentable model.

These MPC NASCAR kits used a common chassis, interior, and drivetrain. The floor pan is molded in two parts to accommodate bodies with different wheelbases, so I held the parts together and decided the middle location best matched this body shell’s wheelbase. The instructions, which look like the original issue, appear to show the floor pan in its shortest configuration.

The engine is generic. The block and transmission are molded in halves, with a separate oil pan, front cover, and starter. The base engine has cylinder heads and valve covers reminiscent of a big-block Chevy.

A pair of heads and valve covers that resemble small-block Ford parts are included, but the heads have a ridge molded on the bottom to engage a non-existent slot in the block, which instead has two locating nubs that don’t match up with the heads.

The twin-tube shocks front and rear are there, and the body shell has the plated-over door handles and racing gas cap you’ll see in photos of the 1:1 car.

The biggest deviation from the prototype is the rear suspension. The kit includes leaf springs, but photos of the full-size car show a coil-spring rear end. The body shell was nicely molded, with only a little bit of a seam along the top of the fenders and over the roofline.

The decals were printed clearly and in register, and went on well. They’re fairly thick, which made it a bit difficult to get the Sta-Power logos on the rear quarter- panels to lay down. The #15 for the rear deck lid was too large to fit between the spoiler and rear window, so I left it off.

When it came time to marry the body and chassis, the rear bulkhead came up about 3/16" into the rear window, and the car sat high in the rear. I took the body off the chassis and trimmed the bulkhead, enough to overhang the fuel filler pipe. Now it met the body at the base of the window, and the car sat a bit lower in the back.

The overall stance looks a little high compared to photos I found of the 1:1 car on line, but I’d have to relocate the dash lower on the roll cage to get the front to sit lower.

This is definitely a “check, file, fit, and cement” kind of kit. When everything is together, you have a decent model of an early-1970s Grand National car.

I’m satisfied with the way this kit turned out, and I’d like to find David Pearson’s 1972 GTO and Richard Petty’s 1970 Road Runner, but I wouldn’t recommend this model to a novice builder.


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